Computer Software Engineering Colleges and Schools in the U.S.

Software engineering is a highly-paid profession involved with cutting-edge technology development. Undergraduate and graduate programs are usually offered through a school's computer science or engineering department.

How to Select a Computer Software Engineering School

Programs in computer software engineering are available at 4-year colleges and universities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • School reputation and program options
  • Research opportunities and facilities
  • Specific interests
  • Accreditation

School Reputation and Program Options

School reputation and job placement history factor in when considering a university for computer software engineering. Students must take into account the availability of the major, the levels of the degrees offered and any possible areas of specialization. Many colleges offer programs in computer science or computer engineering, and while these areas are related and overlap with software engineering they are not the same thing.

Research Opportunities and Facilities

Research opportunities may factor into a student's college choice. Schools that offer advanced research opportunities at the graduate and undergraduate levels allow students to gain hands-on experience in computer software engineering. Another consideration when choosing an appropriate school may be the schools facilities. Schools that offer students up-to-date computer labs and laboratory facilities dedicated to software engineering allow students to submerse themselves in the field.

Specific Interests

Students may also consider areas of interest within software engineering when choosing a college. The field is so wide that students can focus on targeted areas such as real-time systems, enterprise software, operating systems, parallel computing architecture, artificial intelligence, e-commerce systems or networking.


Additionally, learners may want to consider a programs accreditation when choosing between schools. Accreditation by an association, such as the ABET, assures that a program has met the high-quality standards that guarantee a graduate is prepared for work in the profession.

Computer Software Engineering Program Overviews

Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering

These programs stress programming and math. Students learn to design traditional software for computers and video games, as well as real-time dedicated devices, like smart phones, and control systems for industry, aeronautics and space flight. Students are typically required to complete a senior project. They also examine subjects such as:

  • Calculus
  • Statistics
  • Programming languages
  • Algorithms
  • Logic circuits

Master of Science in Software Engineering

Postgraduate students tackle the more complex computing areas, such as parallel computing, artificial intelligence, network security and wireless engineering. Master's programs can include a thesis or research project, which can launch students into a successful career with opportunities for advancement. Master's degree students take courses such as:

  • User interface design and evaluation
  • Software quality assurance
  • Real-time systems

Ph.D. in Software Engineering

Doctoral students delve into engineering languages, data mining and distribution systems. They are also required to complete a research dissertation or thesis that must be presented before a faculty board. Additional program requirements may include teaching experiences and practicums. Graduates are prepared for academia and research opportunities in software engineering. Ph.D. students explore topics such as:

  • Advanced operating systems
  • Software systems architecture
  • Computer and network security
  • Programming language semantics

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